Since many of you don’t know me, you perhaps don’t know my tales of woe. The most recent of which includes several weeks where we got to play the guessing game of, “Water: Will We or Won’t We?” in which the pipes in our house were frozen in an on again/off again fun game of winter temperatures. The adventure ended with busted pipes, a flooded basement, and piles of dirty dishes; not to mention a very hippy-esque non-showered me at my wit’s end.
Just for added fun, life threw me a cold so nasty I couldn’t get out of bed or even function for several days. Migraine headaches, sore throat, coughing fits, all of this and more came to visit me. While I attempted to keep up with work I hardly managed that, let alone writing anything.
But even when we don’t have calamities and disasters in our households or sickness that halts our everyday lives – we still have life to deal with. Life, in and of itself, can suck the minutes right of your day and the creativity right out of your brain. You can wake up early, motivated to begin your day with all of the best intentions, and think, “THIS is the day! This is the day I will accomplish all 5,678 tasks on my To Do list, take care of the kids, get through my work, and make time for writing!”
But, before you know it, it’s dark outside, there’s dishes from dinner stacked all over the kitchen, fifteen people are pulling you in twenty different directions, not a thing got crossed off that To Do List, and your day is careening to an end without you ever touching your writing.
When life gets busy, even a short story can feel as daunting as The Great American Novel. Sometimes even a blog post is too much to contemplate. A simple update on Twitter or Facebook can amount to “all of the writing I have time for.”
How do you keep up the momentum on writing projects? How do you stay inspired?
Make Time for Writing
If you have a busy schedule, then you’re going to have to schedule in your writing time. You can’t wait for inspiration to strike or the perfect moment. You won’t find the time if you don’t make the time. Writing is important, or at least it should be. Everything else in your schedule is important enough to have a chunk of your precious time set aside for just that task – make time for your writing.
Make writing a priority
More than just penciling in a time to write every day, you need to make writing a priority in your life. Life is about balance, and part of that balance is sometimes making hard choices. Sometimes we have to give up one thing to make room for another. If being a writer is something you truly want to accomplish, then it might be time to take a look at your daily activities and start making those hard choices. What can you give up in order to write?
Obviously, family obligations and work are not an option. But, could you give up an hour of watching television every night? Social activities? No one ever said being a writer was going to be easy. If you really want to be a writer, you are going to have to make room for it in your life.
Remember the Love of the Craft
Once we make writing a priority and we’ve scheduled it into our busy calendars, it can seem like a chore. Once something is a chore, it’s no longer fun. What was once a fun past time is now a job. Writing might come to be an event that we resent, a time slot in our schedule no more fun than car pooling or doing dishes.
Trash that attitude right now.
Think back to when you first began writing. What did it feel like? Was it magical? Did your fingers fly over the keys in a race against your brain to create fantastical lands of romance and adventure? Was it a cathartic therapy session; you pouring out your feelings of helplessness and frustration onto the paper? Did writing excite you, heal you, lift you up, and help you dream?
Was writing, once upon a time, your favorite place to visit? Did you look forward to creating worlds with your words, inciting emotions in your readers, pouring emotional vomit onto the paper?
Think of all of the reasons you love to write, all the pride you feel when you call yourself a “writer”.
Remember when your relationship with writing was a brand new, heart pounding, head spinning romance? Remember when the relationship was new, before life got in the way?
Remember that feeling. Remember why you fell in love with writing. Tap into that love and don’t let those feelings go.
Writing is a rewarding relationship. But just like any relationship, you have to make it a priority and keep the spark alive. Writers need to fuel that fire, keep the romance alive with their craft.
Reconnect with your writing. You’ll fall in love all over again. And it will be magical.